Special Olympics: an evaluation by professionals and parents

Ment Retard. 1993 Feb;31(1):15-23.


Attitudes toward Special Olympics were examined in a group of 41 experts in the field of mental retardation and 40 parents of participants in the Special Olympics program. Experts completed a 15-item questionnaire that included Likert-type items regarding possible Special Olympics goals and their importance and fulfillment and open-ended questions regarding program benefits, strengths and weaknesses. Experts were also asked how the program might fit into the normalization debate. Parents were given a similar survey that also included child and parent participation questions. Generally, both groups viewed the program as highly beneficial, particularly in terms of social adjustment and life satisfaction. As to concerns cited, some experts noted potentially segregative aspects of the program, whereas parents focused on administrative issues.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Child
  • Education of Intellectually Disabled
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology
  • Intellectual Disability / rehabilitation*
  • Life Style
  • Mainstreaming, Education
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Sports*